Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Episode 5 Teaser: Iron City Beer with Squire Cam Bell

Tell 'em Ray.

Dropping Friday, Squire Cam Bell, one of the founders of Wolf Hills Brewing, is our guest; our beer is Iron City Beer out of old Pennsylvania; we eat pretzels; and there is a lot of cereal talk.  All that on more in Episode 5!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Episode 4: Tsingtao with Callie Hietala


I. Introduction

In 1903, as the Qing Dynasty waned a group of German brewers on the Shandong Peninsula established the aptly named Germania-Brauerei, offering a taste of Europe in the midst of the German concessions in Northeast China. Soon, however, the Brewery would undergo a series of transformations mirroring those taking place in China and Shandong more generally.  The brewery would remain in German hands following the Chinese Revolution of 1911, but when the First World War came to a close the Germans would lose their concessions to Japan and the brewery would be forcibly sold to Dai-Nippon Brewing, the company that in 1949 would be split into the Asahi and Sapporo labels.  After the Second World War the brewery was briefly put under the administration of the Tsui family by the Nationalist government, at least until the fall of the Republic of China on the mainland that same year, when it was made into a state-owned enterprise by the fledgling People’s Republic of China.  And so the brewery remained for decades until the thawing of Deng Xiaoping’s reforms led eventually to its privatization and merger with three other breweries of the same metropolis.  Now sold in 62 nations, this beer, once brewed according to strict German Beer purity laws though now an adjunct lager, constitutes around 50% of the PRC’s total beer exports and is the second most consumed beer on Earth, its growth mirroring that of the economic development of China itself.

Today's Theme - Pine Top Smith's 1929 "I'm Sober Now." 

II. Our Delightful Guest, Callie Hietala

Mr. Clayman, Dr. Smith, and Ms. Hietala
III. Rubric

BeerAdvocate: 2.76 of 5

RateBeer: 2.04 of 5

Untappd: 2.86  of 5

ABV: 4.7%

Origin: Originally brewed in Qingdao, Shandong, China, this beer is now brewed at 69 different breweries throughout the People's Republic and exported to 62 different nations.  Derived from a German colonial brewery, the recipe is adjuncted with rice.

Ingredients: Water, hops and rice (Western Chinese), and barley malt (Canadian, French, and Australian)

Cost: $ to $$; depending upon how readily available it is in your market will determine the upswing in price, but generally inexpensive.  We paid around $8 for a six-pack.

IV. Our Reviews and Talking Points

Appearance: Golden, slightly bubbly, translucent, light head

Aroma: Typical of a European lager - reminiscent of Heineken according to Eric and Clayman; reminiscent of "someone smoking marijuana" according to Callie.

Flavor: Excellent pale, adjunct lager, easy drinking without sacrificing the essential flavor profile,  paired very well with the Kentucky Fried Chicken we purchased to go with it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, low carbonation

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors: Exactly what it claims to be, a large-scale Chinese beer still in touch with its European roots.

Overall:  Callie gave Tsingtao 3.8 stars, Clayman 2.5, and Eric 3.75 for an average of 3.35 stars.

V. Plugs

As always, please support local breweries, eateries, artists and music - also, please check out:

Chick-N-Little of Abingdon, Virginia

Dip Dog of Marion, Virginia

Martha Washington Inn of Abingdon, Virginia

Rain of Abingdon, Virginia

Wolf Hills Brewing of Abingdon, Virginia

Wolf Hills Community School of Abingdon, Virginia

VI. Recommended Reading and Viewing

Rachel Deason. December 6, 2017.  "A Brief History of Tsingdao Beer." Culture Trip.

Charles Riley and Virginia Harrison. September 16, 2015. "The World's Most Popular Beer Is. . . " CNNMoney.

Staff. June 24, 2017. "Strict Standards Win Tsingtao Beer World Brand."  China Daily.

Ronald Theriot. December 16, 2016. "Tsingtao Revisited (Special Edition)." Louisiana Beer Reviews.  YouTube.

VII. Selected Advertisements

c. 2014

c. 2014

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Episode 4 Teaser: Tsingtao with Callie Hietala

You know, German beer from China?

Dropping Friday, Callie Hietala of the William King Museum of Art is our guest; our beer is Tsingtao; arguably the greatest product of the great Commonwealth of Kentucky; and we talk about the word 'mouthfeel'.  All that on more in Episode 4!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Plug: The Virginia Highlands Festival

Hey folks - in an upcoming episode that we banked for release in late August one of our plugs was for the Virginia Highlands Festival in Abingdon, Virginia.  Unfortunately that episode won't premiere until after the festival has packed up its tents, so we wanted to give it what recommendations we could for this year.  So here we go.  

July 27, 2018 to August 5, 2018 

Abingdon, Virginia

If you like art, dancing, music, antiques, and crafts then you should absolutely visit us in Abingdon this summer. It'll be wonderful.  Check out the website for more information about events, offerings, history, and the whole nine yards. 


Friday, July 20, 2018

Episode 3: Busch with Mike Mason and Guest Co-Host Brendan Roche

The Home of French Broad Onion Soup

I. Introduction

Originally intended as a beer for those who loved classic Bavarian-style pilsners, and once sold in bottles designed to look like beer steins, these days today’s beer is more likely to be found attired in blaze orange, camouflage, NASCAR emblems, or fishing-inspired images.  Despite its apparent market changes, it nonetheless remains a beer for the out-of-doors, once hanging its hat on the slogan, “clear and bright as mountain air,” today leaning on the shorter, but no less image-charged “head for the mountains.”   This is a beer that has caused men in their sixties to raise arms against one another, a beer that cheerfully revels in its own hooliganish reputation, a beer that maintains the best damn Twitter account of any big corporate entity in the United States. 

Today on Pickled Eggs & Cold Beer we climb out of our deer stands, head back to our dorm rooms, and settle into our orange couch we bought for $50 at the flea market that one Saturday.  

Today we’re talking Busch beer. 

Today's theme is Count Basie and His Orchestra's 1938 "Stop Beatin' 'Round the Mulberry Bush"

II. Our Superb Guest, Smilin' Mike Mason

Squire Roche, Dr. Smith, and Smilin' Mike Mason.
Squire Roche is on Twitter at @beroche and you can hit up Mr. Mason at @jmichaelmason on the same.
III. Rubric

BeerAdvocate: 2.02 of 5

RateBeer: 1.29 of 5

Untappd: 2.35 of 5

ABV: 4.3%

Origin: American lager created originally to try and grab part of the premium market in the mid-1950s; macrobrew without excuses, brewed at 12 different A-B breweries

Ingredients: Hops, water, malted barley, and rice.

Cost: $, around $9 for a 12-pack of cans at Wal-Mart

IV. Our Reviews and Talking Points

Appearance: Yellow, lemony, nearly translucent.  Relatively few bubbles, rapidly receding head upon pouring.

Aroma: Very neutral.

Flavor:  On the front-end some mild, fruity flavors, maybe bananas or plantains.  Fairly neutral lager flavor throughout.  Dry, the flavor rapidly receding after drinking.  Light - probably great for outdoor drinking as advertised.

Mouthfeel:  Even, watery, easy down, not overly carbonated.  Again, dry with a receding flavor and feeling after drinking.

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors:

Overall: Smilin' Mike Mason gave 2.25 stars, Squire Roche 2.25 as well, and Dr. Smith 2.5 stars, for an average of 2.33.

V. Plugs

As always, please support local breweries and live music - in particular, please check out :

Dodge Colt Station Wagon


Tazewell, Virginia

From the Great State of North Carolina

DJ Spinderella

From the Great State of Georgia

Abingdon, Virginia

VI. Recommended Reading and Viewing

"Busch Bavarian Beer" Corporate Documentary, posted by tvdays on YouTube.

Emily Bell. Nov. 5, 2015. "There's a Flintstones Corporate Cartoon About Busch Beer (And It Will Drive You Insane."  Vinepair

Deutsch LA's official campaign site

Michelle Hunter. March 13, 2015. "Budweiser or Busch: Argument Over Beer Brands Ends with Shotgun Blast, JPSO Says." The Times-Picayune

NBC Miami. March 7, 2018. "Truck Spills Load of Busch Beer on Florida Highway After Wreck."

VII. Selected Advertisements

c. 1950s?

c. 1960s

c. 1967

c. 1978

c. 1985

c. 1994

c. 2018

c. 2018

c. 2018

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Episode 3 Teaser: Buschhhhhhhh! with Mike Mason and Guest Co-Host Brendan Roche


Dropping Friday, Brendan Roche is our special co-host while Clayman does things for his anniversary; our guest is Smilin' Mike Mason, who draws houses; our beer is Busch; and Eric has to drink something he's not thrilled about. All that on more in Episode 3!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Episode 2: Bud Light with Brendan Roche

Clayman doesn't like Bud Light.

I. Introduction

It is the best-selling beer in the United States, the third best-selling on Earth, a yellow beverage that is so ubiquitous that the only thing as large as its presence on supermarket and convenience store shelves is its advertising presence.  The great cold war between multinational beer corporations rages on, in its fourth decade at least, as alliances and corporations grow ever larger, consolidating resources, developing intensive and extensive logistics systems, data analysis mechanisms, but the leading weapons are not intercontinental weapons or aircraft carriers, but inexpensive adjunct lagers that promise palatable low caloric costs with sufficiently high alcoholic content, packaged in an inoffensive form.   What is amazing is the scale and consistent quality of this undertaking – today’s beer alone generates around half a billion US dollars a year, in no small part because it is nearly always of the same essential quality no matter where or when one buys it – a miracle of technology and planning whose history mirrors that of modernization itself.  

Today on Pickled Eggs & Cold Beer we raise our glasses and consider the imperial behest of arguably the greatest of corporate mascots of the 1980s, the late, the great, Spuds McKenzie.  

Today's theme - Clara Smith's "Deep Sea Blues," recorded in 1924 with saxophone and piano accompaniment  

II. Our Treasured Guest, Brendan Roche, Esq. 

Dr. Smith, Mr. Clayman, Squire Roche, Champ Flair
III. Rubric

BeerAdvocate: 1.86 of 5 

RateBeer: 1.23 of 5

Untappd: 2.26 of 5 

ABV: 4.2% 

Origin: Breweries around the world, including thirteen breweries in the United States in St. Louis, Missouri; Newark, New Jersey; Van Nuys, California; Tampa, Florida; Houston, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Jacksonville, Florida; Merrimack, New Hampshire; Williamsburg, Virginia; Fairfield, California; Baldwinsville, New York; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Cartersville, Georgia 

Ingredientsbeer is made from water, barley malt, rice, yeast and hops

Cost: $;between $10 and $13 for a 12-pack

IV. Our Reviews and Talking Points

Appearance: Pale yellow, bubbly, full white head that recedes fairly quickly

Aroma: very little

Flavor: Inoffensive, watery, beer with all dramatic notes shaven off

Mouthfeel: Watery, bubbly

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors: So ubiquitous it seems to lack a real sense of self; great marketing but so much that it is overwhelming.  

Overall: Mr. Roche gave it 2-Stars; Mr. Clayman gave it 1-Star; and Dr. Smith gave it 2-Stars.  Overall? 1.67 Stars

V. Plugs

As always, please support local breweries, eateries, artists and music - also, please check out :

Abingdon, Virginia

St. Paul, Virginia

Abingdon, Virginia

Chicago, Illinois
Alma, Arkansas

VI. Recommended Reading and Viewing

Tom Acitelli. March 30, 2017. "Bud Light and the Light Beer Arms Race: A-B's Bestseller Turns 35."  All About Beer Magazine.

Overton v. Anheuser-Busch (1994) 205 Mich. App. 259

Ronald Theriot. "Bud Light." Louisiana Beer Reviews

G. B. Wilcox. 2001. "Beer brand advertising and market share in the United States: 1977 to 1998

VII. Selected Advertisements

c. 1982

c. 1983

c. 1985

c. 1985

c. 1987

c. 1987

c. 1989

c. 1992

c. 1995 to 2001

c. 1999

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Episode 2 Teaser: Bud Light with Squire Brendan Roche

Dr. Smith, Mr. Clayman, and Squire Roche
Friday the 13th is renowned as a day of bad luck, a day that it is dangerous to engage with ladders, black cats, mirrors of the breakable ilk, and so forth.  But as we are neither Donald Duck, Popeye, nor Tom the Cat (prestigious animated characters though they may be) we are nonetheless issuing our second big ep on that very day!  Will it be great?  Possibly.  Will it feature a lawyer talking about Bud Light?  Definitely.   See you then, cats and kittens.

Available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Castos!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Episode 1: Miller Genuine Draft with Brent Treash

Remember, Albany is still not the capital of Georgia. 

I. Introduction

Today, as we introduce the world to our scrappy little show, we find ourselves reviewing a beer that grew up with Generation-X, first market tested in 1985 and nationally distributed the following year.  This quadrupally cold-filtered American adjunct lager was originally marketed as a draft-quality beer built on the bones of Miller High Life; the Champagne of Beers on tap, but with superior portability.  Today, however, it sells itself as the anti-microbrew, hanging its hat on slogans like, “Its time for beer to quit acting like wine,” and “It’s time for a good-old macro-brew.”  And while it hearkens itself to a by-gone age when seemingly all-American macros were built and bottled in the bounteous bosom of the blue-collar upper Midwest, insisting that, “Its time to drink beer imported all the way from Milwaukee,” in fact few beers are less attached to a particular geographic location, having originally been brewed in North Carolina, but now brewed in Georgia, Texas, Colorado, California, Ohio, and yes, Milwaukee. 

Today, on Pickled Eggs & Cold Beer, we’re talking about Miller Genuine Draft.

Today's theme - Blind Blake's 1929 "Diddie Wa Diddie" 

II. Our Honored Guest, Mr. Brent Treash

Mr. Clayman, Dr. Smith, and Mr. Treash
III. Rubric

BeerAdvocate: 2.27 of 5

RateBeer: 1.62 of 5

Untappd: 2.49 of 5

ABV: 4.6%

Origin: This unpasteurized, cold-filtered American adjunct lager was developed in the mid-1980s as a response to declining sales of Miller High Life.  Originally produced in Eden, North Carolina, as the MillerCoors empire consolidated in recent years production has been distributed across several other breweries (Albany, Georgia; Fort Worth, Texas; Golden, Colorado; Irwindale, California; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Trenton, Ohio).

Ingredients: Water, Barley Malt, Corn Syrup (Maltose), Yeast, Hop Extract, Hops

Cost: $; a 12-pack (the only quantity available at Wal-Mart, the only place we could find it in our area) was around $8

IV. Our Reviews and Talking Points

Appearance:  Translucent, bright yellow, very few bubbles

Aroma: Virtually none, but probably easily skunked in the bottle since it is clear glass

Flavor: Inoffensive, nothing really of note

Mouthfeel: Watery, aftertaste almost a mineral water aftertaste

Authenticity, Marketing, and Other Factors: Is exactly what claims to be.

Overall: Mr. Treash gave it 1-Star, Mr. Clayman and Dr. Smith gave it 2-Stars; Overall? 1.67 Stars

V. Plugs

As always, please support local breweries and live music - in particular, please check out :

Armour Vienna Sausage
Chicago, Illinois 

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Festival in Bristol, Virginia and Tennessee

Wolf Hills Brewing, also of Abingdon, Virginia

VI. Recommended Reading and Viewing

Chris Morris. September 15, 2015. "The original Miller Genuine Draft plant to shut down." Fortune.

E.J. Schultz. February 17, 2015. "Rewind: When Miller Genuine Draft, Not Bud, Was 'Macro': During the 1990s Craft Boom, Miller Tried to Make Big Cool." AdAge.

Ronald Theriot.  December 23, 2010. "Louisiana Beer Reviews: Miller Genuine Draft." YouTube. 

VII. Selected Advertisements

c. 1986

c. 1987

c. 1991

c. 1993

c. 1993